Durban – A teenage girl was nearly snatched in Avoca on Tuesday evening.
Swift Private Security said the attempted kidnapping took place around 6.30pm on Falkirk Avenue.
“A 15-year-old girl was walking from the shop to her house. She was stopped by two suspects in a red Etios sedan (registration unknown). One of the suspects jumped off and attempted to pull her inside the vehicle. Fortunately, he was disturbed by one of the residents,” said the security firm.
The firm responded to the scene, called the police and also arranged for the Independent Crisis trauma unit to counsel the shaken girl. They encouraged residents to be cautious of their surroundings.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the case had not been reported to the Greenwood Park police.
Childline KZN acting director Adeshini Naicker said news of the attempted kidnapping was “appalling” and with the anticipated opening of borders and air travel, predators would be out in full force.
“This is a reality and parents need to update the advice they have been giving their children. ‘Stranger danger’ is no longer adequate.
“As the lockdown levels ease allowing us to take our children into public places and meet more people, we are inadvertently placing our children at increased risk,” said Naicker.
She said people should always be vigilant and trust their instincts even with people they know.
“Know all the contact details of your child’s friends. If your child goes missing, start calling immediately. Do not wait 24 hours to contact the police. Encourage kids who walk to school, to walk in groups,” Naicker said.
Save the Children SA’s child protection programme manager Divya Naidoo said she was dismayed about another attempted child kidnapping.
Naidoo said the community must play a key role in protecting children.
“Always be alert on the road, so you will be aware of potential risks; do not talk on your mobile or send messages while walking on the road; keep close to friends and avoid going out on your own; do not take anything from strangers; and speed and noise are key, act quickly when you feel you are in danger and make a lot of noise so you draw attention,” Naidoo advised children.
Earlier this week in a statement, police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said human trafficking was not as prevalent in SA as it was in other parts of the world, “but we had to adopt a collective approach ensuring that not a single person, man, woman or child becomes a victim of this crime”.
“The cases of kidnappings, abductions and missing persons are also areas of serious concern to the South African Police Service. The SAPS, together with other government departments, have put both proactive and reactive interventions in place to decisively deal with such cases. Each of these crimes are committed under different circumstances and with different motivations,” said Naidoo.
Naidoo said the public should report missing people to the police on 0860010111 or via the MySAPS app. All information will be treated with the strictest confidence.